October 2020 - East Cheshire Hospice

24 Hour Run – The Meriden Challenge

Running for 24 minutes is long enough for most but a Bollington couple are attempting to keep going for a staggering 24 hours!

Victoria McKibben and Jake Crabtree are taking part in long-distance challenge from Meriden, the geographical centre of England, in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

They will set off from the Warwickshire village at 6 pm on Friday, November 13, and see how far they can travel on foot within a 24-hour time limit.

More than 200 runners will leave at staggered start times with GPS tracking devices determining the winners who go the furthest in any direction as the crow flies.

Victoria and Jake, a contracts manager, will navigate roads and footpaths with Manchester Cathedral – around 100 miles away – their target destination.

Victoria, a primary school teacher, said: “We’ve been training hard but the most we’ve run is a 50-mile ultra marathon in the Peak District last year which took 13 hours.

“We want to keep running as much as possible and will only stop for a few minutes’ rest if necessary. Hopefully, we’ll spur each other on to keep going.

“We’ll have a rucksack but don’t want to carry too much and will have enough refreshments to keep us going through the night before we top up on water and food.

“We often donate to the Hospice and would like to raise £1,000 for a wonderful local charity.”

* To sponsor them visit justgiving.com/fundraising/escapefrommeriden2020.


Jake Crabtree and Victoria McKibben and training for their 24-hour running challenge.

Christmas Tree Collection 2021

The East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection is still going ahead despite Covid-19.

Organisers are having to make changes for the service on the weekend of January 9-10 to comply with government guidelines.

The collection is a major fundraiser for the Hospice which has lost serious revenue because of the pandemic.

Therefore organisers are requesting the public to once again support the campaign, with a special plea to those with plastic trees to also make donations.

The collection covers the same areas as before which means Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Bollington, Prestbury, Poynton, Congleton and Knutsford. The post codes are CW12, SK9, SK10, SK11, SK12 and WA16.

Co-organiser Richard Raymond said: “We have to be Covid secure in our running of the service so there can only be two people on a van unless they’re a family bubble.  That means we’re going to be slower and we ask for patience and understanding.

“We can’t have large gatherings of volunteers which means we’ll change the way we run our safety briefing.  Unfortunately, we’re only going to be able to have experienced collectors or volunteers so we won’t be able to entertain any newcomers this year.

“In addition, because we’re having to be socially distant we can’t offer the same welfare facilities to volunteers in terms of being able to look after their meals so it might mean packed lunches.

“The main thing to stress as far as volunteers or our partners, such as the Ansa recycling depot, is that we must be Covid secure to adhere to whatever guidelines are in place at the time.”

The collection, sponsored by AstraZeneca, is about to enter its 21st year, raising more than £1.1m for the Hospice. More sponsors are encouraged to come forward.

Richard said: “The Hospice needs the money now more than ever after cancelling its fundraising events.  We don’t know how many people will buy real Christmas trees this year.

“We’ve all gone on the internet and had goods delivered to our doors. Will people do that with a plastic tree? We hope not and are putting out the message as strongly as possible that plastic trees aren’t environmentally friendly unlike real trees.

“The fact we’re still around and will collect those trees for recycling should hopefully be a factor in for people deciding whether to get a real tree or not.”

* To register and find out more visit www.eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/echtrees.

The safety briefing for the 2020 East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection.

Brian Jenkins Obituary by John Jones MBE

“I started playing the accordion for charity in 1991, mainly in Macclesfield Hospital, and the Grosvenor Shopping Centre. I made many friends in the Macclesfield area, who enjoyed my music, and as a member of the Stockport Accordion Orchestra, l thought it would be wonderful for the orchestra to do a public performance to fundraise for charity.

In 1999, l suggested the idea of performing a concert in Macclesfield for the East Cheshire Hospice, with our conductor Brian Jenkins.
He was very supportive of the idea, and we played our first concert in October 1999, at Fallibroome School, which proved to be a wonderful evening’s entertainment, with an audience in excess of 170 people.

Brian suffered ill health for the next two years including a major operation, and upon returning to good health, he was very enthusiastic to conduct another concert to support the hospice, which we did in December 2002 at Broken Cross Club, Macclesfield.

Since then we have done a hospice concert every year, and this year’s concert, ‘which we still hope to do on Fri 4th Dec.’, will be the 20th event.

For the orchestra, these concerts have become our highlight of the year, like a family reunion, and over the years we have built a wonderful comradely with the audience, and Broken Cross Club, who look forward to it with great enthusiasm, in supporting the Hospice.

Brian conducted the orchestra until 2011, when sadly ill health again meant he was unable to carry on, he was a wonderful person and held in high esteem by everyone who had the pleasure to meet him.
After being in a nursing home, Brian passed away from Covid this month. RIP.”

– John Jones MBE.

Brian Jenkins, conductor of Stockport Accordion Orchestra

Rose and Peter Prepare for Firewalk

Rose Brocklehurst is guaranteed a warm reception when she returns to East Cheshire Hospice in a couple of weeks.

Not only because Rose once worked there, but also because she faces the daunting prospect of a Firewalk.

Rose and husband Peter have both agreed to take part in the challenge on Friday, November 6, starting at 7 pm.

Rose and Peter Brocklehurst who are undertaking a Firewalk.

They are raising funds in memory of Liz Brown whose husband Greg works at the farm they own near Congleton.

Greg, from Macclesfield, took part in the last Firewalk two years ago, shortly after Liz died at the Hospice, aged 38.

Liz and Greg Brown.

Rose and Peter were there to support him so know what to expect. Rose said: “We saw the flames turn into hot coals so watched the process and thought we’ll do it next time.

“I worked at the Hospice for nearly 20 years initially as a nurse and then as a complementary therapist so have first-hand experience of its role within the community and how it needs funds.”

Peter said: “We’re both fascinated by the challenge and I’ve seen people doing it before in India on television. We thought it’d be nice to raise money in Liz’s memory.”

To sponsor them visit justgiving.com/fundraising/rosemary-brocklehurst1

* There are still spaces at the Firewalk which is streamed live from Millbank Drive due to Covid-19, limiting spectator numbers. Safety briefings will be given online.

Visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/events/firewalk/. The £30 registration fee covers the cost of the event and additional sponsorship goes directly towards Hospice care.


The Tytherington Club’s Corporate Challenge

A new era dawns at The Tytherington Club at the end of next month when it opens a plush 65-bedroom hotel.

The countdown continued to the November 30 opening with members supporting a month-long charity campaign run by East Cheshire Hospice.

The country club donated £554 as part of a Corporate Challenge which raised a record total of £12,226 for the Hospice.

Tytherington should have welcomed its first hotel guests in the spring but had to delay opening because of Covid-19.

Liz Turner, Event Sales Assistant at the club, said: “These are exciting times for The Tytherington Club with the forthcoming opening of our new hotel development.

“Our members are keen supporters of the Hospice so were delighted to take part in the Corporate Challenge.

“It’s been a difficult time for every business and unfortunately our plans were delayed  because of the pandemic.

“Thankfully, work is now nearing completion and with Macclesfield such a popular destination the hotel will be a great addition to our existing facilities and meet the need for accommodation.”

The club ran several Corporate Challenge events, including gym members cycling the combined distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats led by instructor Rebecca Jackson. They also paid £5 for classes on National Fitness Day when instructors waived their fees.

Gym members at The Tytherington Club limbering up to support  East Cheshire Hospice.

Golfers guessed the number of tees in a bowl while spa guests had a similar nail varnish challenge. Raffle prizes included a hotel stay and golf on its championship course.

Liz said: “I used to work at the Hospice so know first-hand what a wonderful place it is and how much they rely on donations.”

The Corporate Challenge was won by Equilibrium Financial Planning who raised £4,620. Builders merchants MaccPlas came second with recruitment firm Leap 29 third.

Bioscript, the 7i Group and the Ivy Leaf pub also took part. Each group received a £100 start-up loan and all profit from that investment was donated to the Hospice.

Kate Bowmar, Corporate Relationship Manager at the Hospice, said: “We’d like to thank the businesses for taking part and entering into the spirit of a fun competition. They raised an amazing total, especially during such a difficult year for everyone.”

East Cheshire Hospice Community Fundraiser Carley Macey (left) with Liz Turner, Event Sales Assistant at The Tytherington Club.

Norfox Donation

East Cheshire Hospice were delighted to receive a £1,500 donation from NORFOX recently as part of the organisation’s ongoing support towards North West hospices.

As the second lowest funded hospice in the UK and with the cancellation of fundraising events and activities in the Covid-19 pandemic, East Cheshire Hospice has suffered a severe impact on its ability to generate sustainable income.

In a letter of thanks to NORFOX, Corporate Fundraiser at East Cheshire Hospice Kate Bowmar wrote: “The fact that you are thinking of ways to support others at what is a worrying time for us all speaks volumes for your kindness.

“Thanks to you and your supporters, we can continue to offer vital care to those who currently need it the most.”

Chair of NORFOX Stewart Grant added:  “We all know families that have been wholly cared for by our regional Hospices like East Cheshire at times of severe illness and bereavement and they deserve our continuing gratitude, support and generosity,”

Launch of the Challenge Ideas Generator

East Cheshire Hospice has launched an interactive tool on their website to help potential fundraisers.

The Challenge Ideas Generator web page suggests ways of getting involved with events to support the Hospice.

The Hospice fundraising team came up with the easy-to-use guide as a response to the phenomenal success of supporter-led initiatives over the last six months.

The donations given as sponsorship for these initiatives have provided a lifeline for the Hospice after it was forced to cancel all official events six months ago because of Covid-19.

Hospice Marketing Manager Amy Chatwood said: “This new interactive Challenge Ideas Generator is basically a summary of just over 100 ideas and events as inspiration for ways of fundraising.

“The challenge generator breaks down into categories, such as how difficult a challenge someone wants to undertake and whether they want to do it on their own, or in a group.

“It could be anything from a bike ride, walk, run, swim, Three Peaks Challenge or even sky diving. The short interactive form is designed to help people help us because we still urgently need ongoing support.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by people who’ve wanted to get involved with the Hospice over the summer.

“The community has responded to the challenge and we’ve been so grateful for that support. Thankfully, it seems people are still up for the challenge and our new web page is designed to assist them.”

* Visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/ideas for more details.

Rachel Gledhill – Tequila Lover to Triathlete!

Rachel Gledhill had to borrow a bike and buy running shoes for her first triathlon.

She did at least own a wetsuit for the one-mile swim across Pickmere Lake which started her endurance challenge.

Heavy rain meant there was no way of drying off for a 40k bike ride to Chelford before a 10k run uphill to East Cheshire Hospice.

There she was met by nurses who toasted her success after four-and-a-half hour journey in bad conditions.

Heavy rain could not deter Rachel from completing her triathlon.

Rachel’s exploits raised £3,100 for the charity in memory of her husband Tom’s grandad Roy Lee, from Chelford.

Roy (78) died in the Hospice four years ago and the family never forgot the care he received.

Rachel said: “Tom’s grandad took me under  his wing and I always said I’d do something to pay the Hospice back, especially as it needs thousands of pounds each day to stay open.

“The care was unbelievable and Hospice made him so comfortable. He was so happy there in his final days.”

Rachel with her husband Tom’s grandad Roy Lee.

Rachel, who works for property developers DeTrafford, was joined by friends and family en route to keep her spirits up.

Sister-in-law  Leanne Tully and her daughter Isabelle (8) ran the last mile with her from Broken Cross.

Rachel said: “A triathlon is not my thing at all and I had to borrow a bike and buy proper running shoes. I started exercising during lockdown and really enjoyed it and that inspired me.

“Two triathlons I’d entered were cancelled so I took matters into my own hands and created my own route. Unfortunately, it was one of the wettest days on record so there was no chance of getting dry after the swim section.

“Five supporters joined me on the bike ride and three on the run and I’m overwhelmed by everyone’s support and generosity and want to thank them for donating.”

* To support Rachel visit justgiving.com/fundraising/rachelsfirsttri.

Rachel with Miley Morris (left) and Isabelle Tully.    

Final Virtual Quiz of 2020

Question One…how can you raise money for East Cheshire Hospice without leaving the comfort of your own home?

Answer…by taking part in a fun virtual quiz on Friday, October 16, at 7.30 pm.

The four virtual quizzes so far during lockdown have been a big success, raising £5,655 for the Hospice, and the next is the last of the year.

Entry is £5 per household  and participants can play as individuals, or as a team, by registering at eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/events/virtualquiz/ where full details how to play are available.

The ECH Quiz Team have held quizzes on behalf of the Hospice for the last seven years and quiz masters are Paul Morrissey and Mark Watson.

Co-organiser Alison Brammer said: “The quizzes have been a lot of fun over lockdown, bringing our community together with some friendly competition and fantastic fundraising.”

The popularity of the ECH Virtual Quiz has even spread across the country and, among those who regularly take part, is the Poyntz Means Prizes team, comprising Steph Poyntz and partner Steve Copper.

Steph said: “I support the Hospice because of its important work helping the local community and it has cared for friends and colleagues in the past. I also know that state support is limited.

“I moved to Bristol to be nearer to family in Plymouth but still miss Bollington and Macclesfield where I’m from.

“The online quizzes are great fun and we like the jokes between the two quiz masters.”

Winners last time were Park Timers.

Quiz entrants Steve Copper and Steph Poyntz.

Ready for Firewalk

Gaynor Webb has a burning desire to help East Cheshire Hospice.

That is why she is daring to walk over hot coals at a Firewalk on Friday, November 6.

Family and friends will watch her challenge via a live stream because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Strict safety guidelines will be in place for the event, from 7 pm, at the Hospice’s Millbank Drive site.

The Hospice was forced to cancel several high-profile fundraising events this year but is going ahead with its Firewalk with social distancing in place and a limit on spectators.

Gaynor, from Macclesfield, is a regular supporter of the Hospice, volunteering at various events.

She said: “I’m strangely excited by the idea of walking on fire for the first time. It’s the fear of the unknown and a challenge you might get anxious or scared by, but actually doesn’t turn out to be as bad as you expected.

“Some people might think I’m either daft or brave, but I try to make a difference. It’s a feel good factor for me and I always get a sense of pride when I’m doing something to help the Hospice.”

Gaynor, who has worked at AstraZeneca for 22 years, is hoping to raise £1,000. To sponsor her visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Gaynor-Webb4?

Gaynor said: “I’ve done a tour of the Hospice and it’s a beautiful place. I help the charity whenever I can, especially with Covid-19 which has meant it’s had to cancel various fundraising events.

“It’s missed out on so much and thankfully people are still focussed on donating in the current crisis.”

The Hospice still has places available for Firewalk and entrants will receive online safety training from organisers.  To enter visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/events/firewalk/

Gaynor Webb who is tackling a Firewalk in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

Bethan Wade, Challenge Events Coordinator at the Hospice, said: “It’s safe and fun and ideal for anyone who fancies a challenge and wants to raise funds for the Hospice.

“It’s a relief that we can finally stage an outdoor fundraising event again after such a long wait and we must stress that social distancing safety guidelines will be fully adhered to.

“Live streaming will also reduce spectator numbers. The £30 registration fee covers the cost of the event and any additional sponsorship raised goes directly towards the vital care provided by the Hospice.

“It costs £7,500 to keep the Hospice running for one day so every penny raised is important, especially at this difficult and emotional time.”